Tag Archive: IE11


MIDAS and Internet Explorer 11

Here are MIDAS HQ we love getting feedback from our customers! Whether positive or critical, all feedback is important to us as it helps us to continually develop and improve our MIDAS room booking & resource scheduling software and service to make it the best it can be!

Our customer feedback is overwhelmingly positive, and you can read some of these comments on our website and also on independent review sites such as TrustPilot.

However, in recent times a handful of customers have commented specifically in relation to the user interface (UI) of MIDAS, which a few perceive as now a little “dated”.

We wanted to begin addressing this for our next MIDAS update, v4.20, and so we’ve introduced a number of changes and improvements in this area which you can read about in the following blog post.

However, we also thought it would be useful to explain some of the challenges we’ve faced with regards to the UI over the years.

As you may or may not know, MIDAS has been in continuous active development for well over a decade, and our philosophy has always been to support ALL popular web browsers (Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Opera, Apple Safari, and more recently Microsoft Edge).

Room Booking System for Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera, and Edge This has been an enormous task over the years, but we feel strongly that our users should have a choice of which web browser they use, with a consistent MIDAS experience between browsers, and not be forced to use one particular browser in order to be able to access and use our MIDAS software.

It’s fair to say that the most difficult web browser to maintain support for over the years continues to be Microsoft’s Internet Explorer series, primarily because it has always lagged way behind all other vendor’s browser offerings in terms of its development, updates, and support for the latest standards (the web has developed and evolved significantly over the years we’ve been developing MIDAS, and Internet Explorer doesn’t keep up!).

To some extent we’ve been “held back” over the years by our decision to continue to support customers who force their uses to use Internet Explorer, however, as of today the only version of Internet Explorer we officially support is 11, having deprecated support for IE10 & 9, IE8, IE7, and IE6 over the past decade.

MIDAS and Internet Explorer 11 Continuing to support MIDAS in IE11 for the very small (and ever decreasing) percentage of our users who continue to use this old browser limits how we can develop MIDAS, particularly in terms of the user interface.

Whilst we would have loved to have dropped IE11 support long ago, Microsoft have committed to providing mainstream support for IE11 until the end of life of the operating systems upon which it is installed – namely, Windows 7, 8 and 10. Windows 7 & 8 have both now reached their EOL (End Of Life) for mainstream support, however Windows 10 is still actively supported by Microsoft and will continue to be for the foreseeable future (for a minimum of at least two years).

That’s why we’ve taken the difficult – but necessary – decision that at some point during 2019 we’ll officially be dropping IE11 support in MIDAS.

This won’t necessarily mean that MIDAS will suddenly cease to function for IE11 users next year, but it does mean that over time new features and new user interface elements and enhancements may not display or even function correctly if you continue to access MIDAS using Internet Explorer 11.

If you’re currently an IE11 user, there is however, plenty of time to switch to a different web browser and there’s plenty of choice when it comes to modern alternative web browsers.

MIDAS will continue to be supported in recent versions of Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Edge, and Opera.

We appreciate that this may affect a very small number of users, but we hope this blog post gives some insight and understanding as to why we’re making this decision and also gives you plenty of time to switch to an alternative, more modern, web browser.

As ever, if you have any questions or concerns over how this may impact you and your organization’s use of MIDAS, please don’t hesitate to contact us and our friendly team will be only too happy to help!

Microsoft Internet Explorer 12You may have seen articles recently on other websites and blogs claiming that as from today, 12th January 2016, Microsoft will end support for all versions of Internet Explorer, except for IE 11.

This isn’t strictly true!

What in fact Microsoft have announced is that “Beginning January 12, 2016, only the most current version of Internet Explorer available for a supported operating system will receive technical support and security updates“.

What this essentially means is that if you’re a Windows 7 user with Internet Explorer 9 or 10 installed, only Internet Explorer 11 will continue to be supported going forward.

However, if you’re a Windows Vista user, where the highest version of Internet Explorer that can physically be installed on that operating system is IE 9, then if you’re currently running IE 7 or 8, only IE 9 will be supported on your operating system going forward, so you should update to IE 9.

The following table from Microsoft outlines which versions of Internet Explorer they will continue to support as from today:

Windows Desktop Operating Systems Supported Internet Explorer Version
Windows Vista SP2 Internet Explorer 9
Windows 7 SP1 Internet Explorer 11
Windows 8.1 Update Internet Explorer 11
Windows Server Operating Systems Supported Internet Explorer Version
Windows Server 2008 SP2 Internet Explorer 9
Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 Internet Explorer 11
Windows Server 2012 Internet Explorer 10
Windows Server 2012 R2 Internet Explorer 11

Our web-based room booking and resource scheduling software, MIDAS, is currently supported in IE9+ and all other major browsers.

Over the years we have previously dropped support for MIDAS in IE6 in 2011, IE7 in 2012, and most recently IE8 in 2013.

Whilst we have no immediate plans to drop support for IE9, it’s likely that our support for this aging browser will within the next couple of years. Therefore, if your using an older Windows operating system, like using Internet Explorer, and can’t update to a more recent version of Windows, then we’d encourage you to at least ensure that your browser is the most up-to-date it can be for your particular operating system.

You might also be interested in:
Windows 10 and Microsoft Edge now available
Could Internet Explorer go Open Source?

Web Browser Roundup – June 2013

It’s been a busy end to the month in the world of web browsers in June… So here’s our take on what’s been happening..

  • Internet Explorer – IE11 preview available & IE11 is to be available for Windows 7
  • Firefox – v22 released this week
  • Chrome – Now 5% faster on average
  • Opera – v15 preview available
  • Safari – Even the developers admit its gone quiet!


Internet Explorer:
Internet Explorer 11 Preview
This last week saw Microsoft release the first public preview of Windows 8.1, which contains the first glimpse of what IE11 will have in store for its users!

Microsoft believes that “the best experience of the web is on a Windows device with Internet Explorer 11“… we’ll let you decide!

However, one of the main focuses for IE11 is on better support, performance, and responsiveness for touch actions

Internet Explorer 11According to Microsoft’s corporate vice-president for Internet Explorer, Dean Hachamovitch, speaking at last week’s BUILD developer conference in San Francisco; “Most of the web wasn’t designed for touch, but users still expect it to just work“. An example given was that navigation and interaction within web pages or web apps often relies on “mouseovers”, where hovering the mouse over a particular region causes a menu or tooltip to open. The natural behaviour for users with a touch screen is to tap the area, which usually just activates a element resulting in a “click” event rather than a “hover” action, or if they tap and hold opens a software menu bringing up browser options.

In IE11, Microsoft has integrated support for such scenarios, allowing users to touch a hover “hotspot” so that the menu/tooltip stays open rather than automatically clicking the element.

IE11 is also the first of the major browsers to offer HTML5 drag-and-drop support for touch interaction. These “hover” and “drag-and-drop” improvements for touch should offer MIDAS users on tablets or other touch-screen devices a richer experience when using our web based scheduling software.

The great news too if you’re a Windows 7 user is that like IE10, IE11 will also be available to you! …although whilst Microsoft have confirmed this, there is no specific date for when IE11 may become available for Windows 7 (…and if it’s anything like the delayed IE10 release for Windows 7, Windows 7 users may have to wait 4 months longer than Windows 8 users to get their hands on the next version of IE!)

MIDAS is already supported in the preview version IE11, as well as in IE8-10. However, if you’re still an Internet Explorer 8 user, we will no longer be maintaining compatibility with this obsolete browser once IE11 becomes fully available – if this affects you please read this!


Mozilla Firefox:
Firefox 22
Also within the last week, Mozilla have released Firefox 22, bringing with it a number of improvements and new features. Some of these improvements, particularly those relating to core Javascript performance, should mean your MIDAS experience on Firefox is better than ever!

Firefox 22 also introduces support for new technologies and better compatibility with existing web standards. One of the exciting new technologies introduced with Firefox 22 is “Web Notifications”. This will allow websites/apps to display notification messages on your system (similar to new mail or new message notifications that other applications you have installed may display). Whilst not widely supported by other browsers at this time (Opera 12, Safari 5, and no versions of IE currently support it), once this becomes more widely adopted, you may see “web notifications” being introduced to MIDAS (for example it could be used to notify you of booking reminders as well as new watches or messages)… so watch this space!

Firefox Logo Redesign 2013
In other highly exciting(!) Firefox news, their logo has undergone a redesigned:

…and yes, you’d be forgiven for thinking that it looks virtually the same! In justifying the new logo, Mozilla explain, “Unlike previous versions, the updated logo was created specifically with mobile in mind. Although we think it looks great at any size, it’s been optimized to be crisper and cleaner on small screens and lower resolution devices. However, it also scales quite nicely for use in retina displays, and (unlike previous versions) can be accurately recreated in SVG so it’s more ‘of the Web’

MIDAS is currently supported in Firefox 4+ (v22+ recommended)


Google Chrome:
Chrome 27
We’re having a hard time keeping up with the latest stable version number for Chrome! For Windows, Max, and Chrome OS it’s currently version 27, however the Linux the current stable version of Chrome is 28. This is unusual, as Google tend to keep major version numbers in sync across all platforms!

So, what exciting new features have v27/28 brought? Well, not a great deal actually, aside from a variety of fixes mainly for Flash-related exploits, the highlight of the v27 release is the claim that web pages load 5% faster on average!

MIDAS is currently supported in Chrome 9+ (v27+ recommended)


Opera:
Opera 15
If you’ve been following our blog, you’ll know that at the start of the year, Opera announced it was ditching its own Presto rendering engine and essentially joining forces to use the same rendering engine to that of Google Chrome. Such a major change in the fundamental nature of the Opera browser was going to take time to emerge, and after much confusion and changes, at the very end of May, Opera lifted the lid on their “next generation” Opera 15 browser to mixed reviews.

As this was the first “preview” release, it was essentially just a shell of a browser, with many of Opera’s previous features removed to the anger of Opera’s loyal user base.

However, as June has progressed, so have the updates to Opera 15… although these updates haven’t exactly been earth shattering, instead just offering a handful of fixes each time and a way to import data/settings from Opera 12.

Whilst understandably there’s a massive amount of work involved in changing rendering engines, Opera really need to start getting their act together and think about what set Opera apart from other browsers in the first place if they really expect Opera 15 to complete with other major browsers. Right now, whilst Opera 15 hasn’t yet gone on general release, it’s lacking a lot of features and functionality that Opera 12 offered.

That said, MIDAS is supported in Opera 15 (as well as Opera 9-12 (v12+ recommended)


Safari:
Safari 7/6.1
Well, activity on the Safari front just seems to get quieter and quieter each time we post! In fact, on the Safari blog itself they admit they’ve been “quieter than usual” which they attribute to Apple developers being away at a conference(!)

Anyway, A small update to Safari, 6.0.5, was released at the start of the month for OS X and iOS.

At Apple’s World Wide Developer Conference this month, it was announced that Safari 7/6.1 would bring improvements in JavaScript performance and memory usage, as well as a new look for Top Sites and the Sidebar, and a new Shared Links feature. Additionally, a new Power Saver feature pauses Plugins which aren’t in use. Safari 7 for OS X Mavericks and Safari 6.1 (for Lion and Mountain Lion) is expected to be available this Autumn… but sadly, there’s still no sign of any more updates for Safari on Windows (which is still currently stuck at v5.1.7)

MIDAS is currently supported in Safari 4+ (v5+ recommended)

Web Browser Roundup – April 2013

It’s been a busy few weeks in the world of web browsers… and there’s been some major changes in the browser landscape too! So here’s our take on what’s been happening..

  • Internet Explorer – IE11 coming later this year? / IE10 available for Windows 7 / Farewell IE8
  • Firefox – v20 now available… and a new rendering engine on the horizon?
  • Chrome – v26 out now… and ANOTHER new rendering engine on the horizon?!
  • Opera – 12.15 now available… and a change in rendering engine to.. WebKit? no wait.. Blink?
  • Safari – What will all these rendering engine changes to other browsers mean for Safari?


Internet Explorer:
Internet Explorer 11 coming soon
Microsoft are busy working on their next update for Windows 8, currently billed as being “Windows 8.1”, and expected to be available in the latter half of this year. Windows 8.1 will almost be a kind of “service pack” for Windows 8, but will also contain a number of improvements and updates to apps & software. Perhaps the most exciting updating coming with Windows 8.1 will be Internet Explorer 11. Yes, that’s right, no sooner is IE10 out of the door, but Microsoft are following it up with IE11 in a relatively short space of time (well, for them anyway!). We think this is great to see from Microsoft, as in the past updates to their flagship browser have been few and far between. Compare that with Mozilla’s current release cycle for Firefox, who are churning out a new version of Firefox every 6 weeks!

MIDAS will be supported in IE11 when it becomes available, however, it is unknown whether IE11 itself will be “exclusive” to Windows 8.1, or whether, like IE10, it will also be made available for Windows 7 users as well.

…and yes, you did read that right – Internet Explorer 10 is available for Windows 7 right now! (and has been for over a month). If you’re a Windows 7 and Internet Explorer user, we strongly recommend that you update to IE10 get the best out of MIDAS.

Finally, if you’re still an Internet Explorer 8 user please read our “Saying farewell to Internet Explorer 8” post and upgrade your browser… as we won’t be supporting MIDAS in IE8 indefinitely!

MIDAS is currently supported in Internet Explorer 8+ (v10+ recommended)


Mozilla Firefox:
Firefox 20
Mozilla’s rapid release cycle means that we’re now up to Firefox version 20! In a tweet yesterday, the Firefox team claim that with their latest version of Firefox “you can get the web up to 7 times faster than older versions”.

Mozilla also announced last week that they were collaborating with Samsung on a new rendering engine, named “Servo”. A “rendering engine” is essentially what converts raw web page code into what you actually see on your browser screen. Mozilla’s long standing rendering engine has been “Gecko”, but according to Mozilla, “Servo is a research project to develop a new web browser engine. Our goal is to create an architecture that takes advantage of parallelism at many levels, both on the CPU and GPU, while eliminating common sources of bugs and security vulnerabilities associated with incorrect memory management and data races. With Servo, we aim to take the kinds of fluid, richer multimedia experiences expected in today’s smart phone and tablet applications to the next level on tomorrow’s web and tomorrow’s hardware.”
“Servo” is still in its early days and according to Mozilla, “It’s too early to say how [Servo] will be adopted going forward. No decision has been made as to whether Servo will replace Gecko. Gecko remains the ‘productised’ web engine for Mozilla.”
So it may be that Servo ends up being a rendering engine for Mozilla’s smart phone/tablet browsers, and Gecko remains for desktop Firefox editions (which could get confusing!), or more likely in time, Mozilla will standardize their rendering engine across all platforms.

MIDAS is currently supported in Firefox 4+ (v20+ recommended)


Google Chrome:
Chrome 26
The current version of Google’s Chrome browser is v26. Ever since its first release – which was only 4 years ago! – Chrome has always used the WebKit rendering engine, which until then had most notably been used in Apple’s Safari web browser. Chrome’s subsequent input into the WebKit project has really driven WebKit development forward in the last four years, to the point that WebKit is arguably the most standards-compliant of all the rendering engines currently used by the major browsers.
However, Google recently announced that they would be developing a new rendering engine for Chrome, called “Blink”, which is expected to make it into builds of Chrome within just 10 weeks! Unlike Mozilla’s “Servo” engine, which is being built from the ground up, Blink is heavily based on the WebKit project.
Google have released a Blink Q&A video if you’re interested in learning more about this new rendering engine and its implementation

MIDAS is currently supported in Chrome 9+ (v26+ recommended)


Opera:
Opera 12.15
Opera are having a bit of a turbulent time of late, and in some respects appear to be loosing a sense of focus and direction!
Opera was first released in late 1994, making it the longest running browser that’s still in active development and current use today.
Apart from its longevity, what also makes Opera unique is their own “Presto” rendering engine.
Now, you may remember that back in January, we reported that Opera were making a switch from Presto to WebKit at least for their mobile browser offerings. Then in February, it was confirmed that Opera would drop Presto for their entire range on browsers (not just mobile).
This was a move that surprised a lot of analysts, and received a mixed response from Opera’s loyal user base.
Whilst it would have been sad to see a very mature rendering engine being put out to pasture, it would have meant that with Google and Opera both contributing to WebKit (along with Safari), it would not only provide more continuity between browsing experiences on the three browsers, but also with three major organizations contributing to the development of WebKit, it would have become very powerful and certainly have Mozilla and Internet Explorer (who don’t use WebKit) quaking in their boots!
…but this was before Google announced Blink… and shortly afterwards, Opera changed their minds and decided to also jump on the Blink band-wagon, after having gone all out and confirming they were moving to WebKit!!
So it’s a little confusing at the moment as to the direction that Opera are going to be going down! ..but as things stand at the moment, here are the list of rendering engines that the five major browsers are using/will be using in the near future:

Browser Current Rending Engine Future Rendering Engine
Trident Rendering Engine Internet Explorer Trident Trident
Gecko Rendering Engine Mozilla Firefox Gecko Servo?
Blink Rendering Engine Google Chrome WebKit Blink
Presto Rendering Engine Opera Presto Blink?
WebKit Rendering Engine Apple Safari WebKit WebKit

MIDAS is currently supported in Opera 9+ (v12+ recommended)


Safari:
Safari - The Future of WebKit
As you’ll know from our previous Web Browser Roundups – it’s been pretty quiet on the Safari development front in recent months, with not much happening!
Safari’s rendering engine is WebKit, and last month it looked like both Google and Opera would begin contributing code to the WebKit project (in fact, Opera even began contributing code to WebKit). This was before Google announced it was moving away from WebKit in favor of a new rendering engine, Blink, and then Opera followed suit and announced it was also teaming up with Google for the new Blink rendering engine.
So what will this mean for WebKit and the browser that will soon be the sole user and primary contributor to the WebKit project, Safari? Well, it remains to be seen! WebKit was successfully developed without Google’s input in the days before Chrome, so it may well survive without Google’s input in the future, but with Google and Opera pooling resources into Blink, and Firefox potentially introducing a new rendering engine too, the WebKit team (and Safari) are going to be facing a tough challenge to keep up!

MIDAS is currently supported in Safari 4+ (v5+ recommended)